Full Name: Violet Madeleine Weston. (Later, Mrs Cobb)
Date of Birth: 3 July 1940
Born: Balham, London.
Club: Selsonia Ladies.
Coach(s): Reg Bale, Jim Alford.
Completing The Cycle
On a windy day in Motspur Park in Surrey in 1958, Madeleine Weston won the 100y title at the Women’s Amateur Athletics Association’s national championships in 10.6, and 47 years later she was celebrating again. By then, the event had come under the auspices of the Amateur Athletics Association, the distance had switched from yards to metres and the stage might have been on a grander scale with the event combined with the Norwich Union World trials. But a victory is a victory and this time her triumph came as a coach when she guided Laura Turner to success in the 100m in Manchester.
An Early Start
It was no surprise that Weston achieved success on a senior level while only a teenager because she had started sprinting in school at the age of 14 and in 1955 she won the WAAA Junior 60y and 100y titles as well as the English Schools intermediate 100 yards. The following year she won the WAAA and English Schools intermediate 100 yards before two years later came her victory in the senior event. It was the perfect preparation for the major competitions of 1958, a foundation which helped her become part of a world record.
In 1958, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games were staged in Cardiff and it was here, at the age of 18, that Weston produced two of the best moments of her career. She won bronze in the 100y in 10.81 in a race won by Australian Marlene Willard in 10.70 with Weston’s English teammate Heather Young second in 10.73. But it was on July 26 in the 4 x 110y relay where both Young and her found themselves on top of the podium when the combined with Dorothy Hyman and June Paul to win gold in 45.3, a world record. Weston ran the first leg and she remained an international until her retirement in 1972.
Another World Record
She had initially retired after the 1962 European Championships Belgrade where she did not progress past the heats of the 100m, but she was soon back in action. Five years after her success in Cardiff for England, and now married to David Cobb, she again ran the first leg of the 4 x 110y relay which took Britain to a world record to 45.2. It was August 5, at the White City Stadium in London, in a match against the USA, when Cobb was part of a triumphant quartet of Mary Rand, Daphne Arden, Dorothy Hyman. She ran a 100m personal best of 11.5 in her final season before becoming a coach - and not losing her winning touch.
1958: 3rd 100y, 1st 4x110y Commonwealth Games; 4th 100m, 2nd 4x100m Europeans
1962: ht 100m Europeans
1969: sf 100m, 8th 200m Europeans
1970: 2nd 4x100m Commonwealth Games
1971: 6th 4x100m Europeans
UK Internationals: 28 (1958-72)
Won WAAA 100y 1958; Indoor 60m 1969, 1972; Junior 60y & 100y 1955, Inters 100y 1956.
100y 107. 10.6w (1958); 100m 11.5, 11.75 (1972); 200m 24.16, 23.6w (1969), 300m 39.0 (1969), 400m 57.4 (1968)
Indoors: 50m 6.47 (1972), 60y 7.0 (1959), 60m 7.4 (1969)